Feeling good about what you do

I remember my father saying various things about work and jobs he did around the house. Taking a pride in your work was one thing he said and the other was that if a job was worth doing then it was worth doing well. My father did a lot of work around the home and garden and made furniture for the living room and bedroom. I still have two sets of small drawers that my father made and a small footstool. My father died over 40 years ago so these items are long lived. That is most likely because they are well made unlike some of my other furniture items which tend to fall apart when moved!.

Over the last few years I have seen a lot of workmen doing jobs around my home and currently in the housing complex in which I live. Luckily, at the moment, I have some who do take a pride in what they do and do it well. Others meanwhile have done sloppy work and then have to come back to do it again.

Something has changed in the way people do things. You only have to look at some of the items in the shops. I once bought a dress which fell apart after being washed. I would love to check out all the seams in clothes before I buy them but that is not practical. But is taking a pride in what you do a good thing? Doing something well and being proud of it can make you feel good inside. Even if others don’t like what you have done as long as you feel good about it then that is the most important thing.

It is also good to see that craftsmen are making a come back. Their goods might be more expensive but it they last longer then that is good. I don’t mind paying for good quality workmanship. Below is an old photo of my father and grandfather.

Signs of Spring

It is quite noticeable now that the hours of daylight are longer. We have also had some beautiful winter days with clear skies but with cold icy winds. However I do love these kinds of days. My bulbs in their pots are starting to show little shoots above the ground so I am looking forward to seeing these grow and bloom.

My son took me to a nature reserve I have not visited for a few years. There were lots of hazel catkins blowing in the wind so difficult to get a good photo. But from the bird hides there was plenty to see. One of the bird hides is by a feeding station and it was wonderful to see so many birds there. Goldfinches, greenfinches, chaffinches, blue tits, and long tailed tits were numerous. There were also robins and blackbirds but notably there was a wonderfully coloured bullfinch and also a bird I had never seen before a female reed warbler. I found the whole experience extremely uplifting and joyful.

There was also a small island covered with around fifty cormorants. I saw a small egret and lots of other birds whose names I did not know. But the time out in nature was good for my soul. People can underestimate the power of the natural world as they may walk along but never see anything. I am not a ‘birder’ as I look at everything as I go along. I am always on the lookout for fungi, insects, flowers etc as well as anything else that crosses my path like a grass snake last summer.

For me this time of the year, despite the cold, is a wonderful time as nature awakes and enables me a glimpse of the future. I forget about the worries of the current world situation and let myself be surrounded by the joy and colour of nature.

While writing this blog post I am listening to Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2 a piece of music I find totally inspiring and uplifting. My soul is having a good day!

What would you change?

Recently I have been reading several surveys about what people would change about their lifestyle in order ‘to save the planet’. These were quite interesting and I wondered what my readers would change.

For myself there are some small things I could do but I don’t have a car and I no longer fly to other areas or countries so that limits what I can do in that area. I try to buy organic or fair trade clothes when I can. I try to eat organic food or food that is not imported from other countries. I recycle as much as I can and collect blister packs to give to my son who takes them to Superdrug for recycling. I buy shampoos and soaps that are made from natural ingredients and scent free, I knit and sew some of the things I need and I often ‘undo’ old knitted garments and use the wool to knit something else. I give clothes I no longer wear and other items I no longer use to charity shops and organisations. I like to support wildlife trusts and spend time in nature reserves which is good for my mental health.

So what else can I do? I am sure you will all think of things I can do and things that you could do. I would love to read your thoughts on this so please respond and comment.


As a family history researcher and as an elder, I have a fair amount of knowledge about the past and how lucky we are today. For myself, I remember rationing on food, clothes and anything else that was available even sweets. We made do with a little and my parents learned how to make a small amount go a long way. We did not have a phone or a car and used public transport or walked everywhere. It was nothing new to walk into town which was over a mile away. I walked to school as well until I was about 12 years old and had a cycle. I remember that the air was so dirty that washing was only put out on the line to dry when the wind was blowing away from us. After the Clean Air Act, we now have much cleaner air but this is getting worse again due to the heavy use of cars. The recent publication of the 1921 census brought home to me how lucky I was then as a child. In 1921 there were strikes in the coal mines because the government had given them back to their owners who wanted to pay the miners less money for their work. The area I lived in was full of coal mines, pottery manufacturers, iron and steel works and brick yards. It was a dirty place to live but there was no choice if you wanted to work.

So how is it different today? Generally we have good housing, food and clothes and many families have cars and mobile phones as well as access to the internet. But people still moan about not having this or not having that or the shelves are empty in the supermarket. I was trying to remember the first supermarket I used. I had always shopped locally or at the small co-op as I got everything I needed that way and vegetables and fruit were fresh.

We have had some restrictions over the last few months or so and many have got fed up with this and moan about it all the time. Why not take some time to be grateful for what you do have? Look at what you need versus what you want. I am sure you will find there is a difference. Changes are on the way, some big ones that will make use stop and take stock. If we are going to make our planet safe for us all then we have to change how we live. Start now before we are all forced to change whether we want to or not. Be grateful for what you have and keep it safe.

Another new year!

Happy New Year to all my readers!

I and many others are hoping that this year is better than the last couple of years. But it is up to us to make it better. One thing I have learned is that I must read between the lines and discern what is the truth. The press and media forums distort the truth on a regular basis and if you post anything which they consider to be divisive your post is removed.

So what about this new year? What can we do to make sure it is a good year for us and for others? I feel that we must look around the world in general and see where help is needed. Then we need to look at the reasons why this help is needed. This is where finding out the truth is important. You can listen to your heart which will always give you the truth and you can research, and read what others say before deciding what is the truth.

There is so much to do to make our world better for us all. There is the environment to consider and what we can do to help. I live on a main road and the air pollution and noise pollution is high. You don’t really want to open the window as the air you let in is not good for you. One of the things I have found about public transport is that if you don’t use it you lose it and that benefits nobody. So think about this carefully before you buy a new car and think about what you will do when you can no longer drive and want to get out and about.

Also we can look at the food we eat. Where has it come from for example and how is it grown or bred? The same applies to clothes.

But on a different level, you need to find compassion for others, respect for others especially family and friends even if you disagree about certain things. As our earth as we know it crumbles around us we will need our family and friends even more. We can already see changes in some parts of the world as governments fall apart and our planet wages its own war with fire, earthquakes, huge storms and volcanic eruptions.

Change is certain to happen and some will be huge changes. Be ready for these. People have fought for centuries for things they wanted, like voting and being free to speak their thoughts. Don’t let these disappear now when they are needed more than ever. Think in a critical manner, listen to your heart and make right decisions. Know that we are all one, whatever colour or creed. We are humans, a large tribe of humans.

Whatever you do, remember that love, peace, compassion and respect are all good and should be a big part of our lives. Stay strong and let your light shine. You could be the lighthouse in a storm saving others from death or injury.